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  • David

    September 26, 2020 at 6:57 am

    The idea that anytime there is change there will be winners and losers is a reality that I have struggled with most of my life. Agents of change try to seek win/win solutions over win/loose or even worse loose/loose, but that is not always possible especially when the guardians of the status quo are in the majority or have most of the power.

    Sometimes, change agents can use moral suasion to affect change. You can appeal to those in control of maintaining the status quo that change is the right thing to do. The best example of this in the Church is to ask them if they are willing to change for the sake of the lost or for their grandchildren. Unfortunately, this does not always work because people care more about themselves than others.

    You can also use the the form follows function argument. If what we are doing is not serving our function (purpose) then we need to change our form (what we are doing) because continuing to do what your doing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Unfortunately, the reality is that many care more about form and the way things are and have been (tradition) than they do about function or purpose. In my experience, this is the least effective approach in the Church.

    Another approach is pain management. As a rule, people will not change until the pain of staying where you are (status quo) is greater than the perceived pain of the change (loss). This why people jump out of burning buildings. They know that if they stay where they are they will burn, so they are willing to change (jump). As a change agent you provide information or evidence that creates a compelling reason and sense of urgency for change. You create a burning building.

    Jesus was the greatest change agent that has ever lived. As I think about this text and His ministry on earth, I think He offered a radically new approach that was definitely not acceptable to the status quo establishment as demonstrated in this text. I think He used pain management to affect adaptive transformative change. Repent and believe in me and the one who sent me or burn. He offered a clear choice and compelling reason for change.

    I believe we are living in a time where this approach is needed both within the church and in our country. In my mind, We have a clear choice. We can stay the same and continue to decline and literally burn or we can turn back to God and policies and practices that honor and glorify God and be healed. Lord let us choose wisely!